So, I started dating a new guy recently. His name is Devin. He’s a really, super amazing guy and we get along great. Really great! But he is totally my opposite. Have you ever seen the show Green Acres? If you haven’t, here’s the summary. A man loves living on the farm and his wife loves living in the city, chaos ensues. I like to think that show, despite airing more than 60 years before Devin and I met, was written about the two of us.
So you get the idea… I’m city, he’s country. I’m indoors, he’s outdoors. I dreamed of a career in fashion, he dreamed of a career… on a ranch, or something like that. Obviously, we’ve managed to make it work so far, but our first trip together was going to be a test.
Turns out, I was going to be the one who was tested. It was a 10-day road trip from Boulder, Colorado to Phoenix, Arizona. I found myself slightly out of my comfort zone.
First off, there was driving! Did you know that I don’t drive? At all? Did you read the part where I wrote 10 day ROAD TRIP. Devin, bless his heart, drove A LOT. I semi-confidently navigated. For the sake of growing and learning, I “practiced” my “driving” twice in Arizona for about one hour each time. By the end, we were both proud, but slightly terrified. We both needed a big drink.
Second, there were some… outdoor activities. Snowboarding (terrible!! I’ve never fallen down more in my life) and hiking in the Grand Canyon stand out the most. On the morning of the Grand Canyon hike, freshly scarred by my snowboarding nightmare, I was pretty nervous. We were there in January so a) it was freezing and covered with ice and b) the government was shut down, which meant there would be no state troopers. They tell you that it’s going to take twice the time to climb out of the canyon as it takes you to climb down. I was wearing a pair of jeans. I was unprepared to say the least. We ended up hiking almost 14 miles in 6 hours! It was BEAUTIFUL and my fears were irrational (it turns out hiking is really just walking up and down hills!). But still, by the end, it was time for a big drink.
Third, there’s that January thing. Like I mentioned, it was FREEZING!! On the day that we visited Monument Valley (another incredibly gorgeous location, and even more so when covered with snow) it was 6 degrees! 6!! Devin is a mountain man from Colorado, seemingly unbothered by low temperatures. I get violently cold when the air conditioning is blowing on me too much. Really, the only thing you can do to keep warm in this kind of situation is… have a big drink.
Soooo we had a lot of big drinks. And honestly, after all of my complaining and hesitation, I had a really amazing time. The American West is truly incredible. I was surprised by how different it feels from the East Coast, where I grew up. Sprinkled between the stunning views were diners, art (Taliesin West is a must!), honky tonks, there may have even been a mechanical bull involved (although photo and/or video evidence will NOT be produced).
So, if you ever have the opportunity to travel out west, you should take it! Even if you’re a city girl like me.